Thursday, December 24, 2009

Family 2009 Christmas Celebration

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

Our family set a Christmas tradition that let us experience a meaningful Christmas celebration each year. We wanted Christmas to be focused on family, service and teaching my nieces and nephews, now ten (10) of them, the true meaning of Christmas. A week before Christmas, the whole family -from the youngest to the oldest- would go Christmas caroling,to a chosen group of people and give them some little treats. For the last two years we did caroling around the Village, I'm being new here then. But since it is now my third year in the Village and we have lots of gathering with our neighbors, we felt that we would carol all the new members of Deparo Ward.

There were 11 families visited last December 19 and 20. Also, we decided to have a Pasalove (a GMA 7 inspired theme) recipient - an old couple who lives outside the Village. We went there last December 19 and sang Christmas carol. The couple lives in a shanty. We do not have any information about who they are, but my sisters -in-law, Imee and Bhebe always notice them on their way to their kids school, to be just sitting outside their humble home, and they didn't seem to have any relatives. They wanted to drop by and talk to them and give them pandesal, but hesitated. So they told me about it and chose them as our Pasalove recipient this year. The goal is to visit them every night and bring them treats. Last December 19 we sang carols to them and learned tatay name as Celso de los Reyes. He is half blind while nanay delos Reyes is blind. We had the kids brought them basket of apples and pears.Then the next night we bring them dinner. During our family home evening, the kids testified that they felt good giving acts of service to the couple.

For Christmas eve, our tradition is to have a family home evening and invite some special people. Last night joining the home evening fun is the family of my personal driver Mario and Joy the cousin of Ate Amy and Joy the niece of Imee. Kuya Mike's lesson is on the lost sheep, lost coin and lost son and focusing on repentance and atonement of Jesus Christ. As we celebrate his Birth, the greatest gift we could give Him is our better selves.

I am assigned for the games. First we had the Trouble game, Hep Hep Hooray and Bring Me games for the kids. They all had fun.

Then our family game, "I WILL". The "I WILL" game is our replacement to what Pinoys love to play - BINGO. Instead of the usual no. 1-75, words like Be Kind, Be patient, Participate in family activities, Listen to Others, Follow Jesus Christ are on the box. I found this game in the Friend section of the Liahona in 2005 and played it since then. The only twist we put is to spell the phrase I- L-O-V-E - U. The first to mark and form I wins the prize, then L, then O and so on. My family had fun last night as they remember the good virtues and win grocery bags and cash gift.

Then we had an apple dance contest and the Pinoy Henyo. Kuya Mike and Ate Amy won the apple dance.

We played "Pinoy Henyo" just as how it is played in Eat Bulaga. All the couples teamed up and one of them will guess the word by asking questions answerable by Oo, Hindi or Puede. All the words are related to Christmas - Jesus Christ, caroling, Christmas tree, puto bumbong, Wise men and Reindeer. The first place with only 6 seconds is Joel & Imee, then Mario & Marivic came second while Mama & Papa, Allan & Bhebe, Mike & Amy and the two Joy are third to sixth place respectively. They got different sizes of canned assorted biscuit.

After the games, we had the Monito Monita (exchange gifts) among kids and adults. Santa also did come and fill the kids' stockings.

Our Christmas definitely has more meaning to it as we focused on family, friends, service and rejoicing and giving thanks for our Savior, Jesus Christ.

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